At MWC Los Angeles last month, the MulteFire Alliance launched its first certification program, marking a critical step forward in the development of new LTE-based wireless networks operating in unlicensed and shared spectrum. The program is open to MulteFire Alliance members and their devices that pass certification may use the “MulteFire Certified” logo and certification mark to promote and give end users confidence their product has passed rigorous interoperability testing. The MulteFire 1.9 GHz Certification Program will test eNodeB devices for conformance and interoperability in the 1.9 GHz band in Japan.
Released in December 2018, the MulteFire 1.1 specification added support for the 1.9 GHz band in Japan, taking advantage of existing 3GPP Band 39 terminals in unlicensed spectrum. Working closely with the XGP Forum, the MulteFire Alliance was able to deliver MulteFire technology in 1.9 GHz (also known as sXGP), which will ultimately reduce system costs and achieve faster time-to-market. This is because Japanese vendors only need to make small modifications at the eNodeB side to obtain co-existence with existing DECT and PHS systems operating in the same band.
The launch of the MulteFire 1.9 GHz Certification Program furthers the Alliance mission and allows MulteFire Alliance members to provide their end users with confidence that their product can effectively interoperate and communicate via LTE. With billions of mobile devices in Japan that support MulteFire 1.9 GHz today, this program launch will spearhead the first commercial deployments of MulteFire technology in Japan.
The MulteFire Alliance has also named DEKRA, located in Yokohama, Japan as the first Authorized Test Lab (ATL) for its certification program. DEKRA will perform conformance and interoperability testing, ensuring that the device has properly implemented the MulteFire 1.9 GHz protocol and proving the device works with reference implementations representing typical use cases.
MulteFire in 1.9 GHz is aimed at providing enhanced cordless phone services within enterprises, private and public venues. In addition to voice and data services, a number of IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine) services that have high data requirements can also be supported by MulteFire in 1.9 GHz. Looking ahead, the MulteFire Alliance plans to expand the certification program to additional geographic regions around the world.